The Knockdown Center won’t be knocked down too easily.
The arts and crafts venue, located at 52-19 Flushing Ave. in Maspeth, has been the cause of local uproar over alleged rowdy parties, but was approved on Dec. 6 for a renovation plan that could lead to it getting a place of assembly permit for up to 5,000 people.
Even worse for those opposed, the news may have come as a surprise. It was reported by Community Board 5 District Manager Gary Giordano at the group’s November meeting that the Knockdown Center’s assembly application had been denied by the Buildings Department and withdrawn.
“That’s what I was told by the Queens office of the Department of Buildings,” Giordano said. “But that doesn’t mean [the application] wasn’t resubmitted.”
Knockdown Center manager Tyler Myers said in an email to the Chronicle that such information about resubmitting an application that had previously been denied was simply “inaccurate.”
“It was a plan exam approval, not a permit approval,” Myers said. “We did have a plan that we withdrew months ago. We never withdrew the application that was approved, we just did the proper series of plan exams, making changes where required after each review. Not uncommon with a large project.”
The DOB did not immediately respond to the Chronicle by press time on Wednesday.
The Knockdown Center did withdraw a plan exam application for interior renovation of the venue in October after it was denied by the DOB in June.
While Myers does not categorize the new approval as a victory for the embattled venue, he says that the Knockdown Center will continue to follow the letter of the law.
“Our plans are better than code and are entirely as of right by zoning and code,” he said. “Just getting it all drawn in the safest and most operationally sound manner.”
The Knockdown Center has seen vehement opposition from CB 5 as well as concerned residents and elected officials in recent months, mostly over the site’s attempt at garnering a liquor license.
CB 5 voted unanimously in October to recommend that the Knockdown Center not receive a 600-person liquor license from the State Liquor Authority, especially if the building can host thousands, a point Giordano still emphasizes.
“I’m still very concerned with them getting a liquor license for up to 600 people,” he said.
This article originally misstated what the Knockdown Center had gotten approved. It passed a plan exam OK'ing its proposed renovations.